Holly Vaughan

Holly Vaughan

The Body Never Lies

And Nothing Hurt 2015 Steel, Jersey, Wax, Resin Varnish Life-Casts

Did I Lean Too Hard 2015 Ciment Fondu, Resin Varnish, Life-Casts, Ceramic, Steel frame, Perspex, Steel Chains and rod, velvet Installed in The Body Never Lies exhibition

Always In The Last Place You Look 2015 Found Fence, Spray-paint, Cushion Filler, Plaster and Resin Life-Cast

My-nd (MInd, My Mind, My End) 2015 Acrylic, Wall Gloss Paint, Found Wooden Flooring

And Then My Hip Popped 2015 Wax, Wood, Seat Cushions, Portland Stone Slates, Terracotta Iron Plaster Cast, Plaster, Kapok

Everything Was Beautiful 2015 Plaster, Resin Varnish, Life-Cast, Found fragment of Chair, Acrylic, Wig Hair

Custody of SpiderWoman 2015 Acrylic, Wall Gloss Paint, Wool, Carpet Tile, Handmade wooden frame with zinc plates

Section 22i 2015 Steel, Sillicon Rubber Life-cast, Plaster cast of a cast

Bandum Me 2015 Latex, Leather, Gold Tassels, Found broom stick, Acrylic, Spray-paint

Section 22i 2015 installed in The Body Never Lies Exhibition

The Body Never Lies Exhibition Solo Exhibition November 12th – 26th 2015 Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre

Mercury 2015 Portland Stone Carving, Acrylic, Velvet, Installed in The Body Never Lies Exhibition

He 2015 Latex, Feathers, Rebar, Spray-paint Installed in The Body Never Lies E|xhibition

Hosted by Hornsey Town Hall Arts Centre, The Body Never Lies exhibition will present a selection of contemporary works experimenting with themes of intimacy and connectivity. Sculptures and Installations that portray fragments of figures inspired by human biology and the bodies alignments, in moments of stillness.
It’s no surprise to me, when I think about it awhile, that Holly Vaughan chose to focus on her own body so directly in the various sculptural forms she presents to us, in this, her first solo exhibition. Her most recent works involve at least one element each of life casts of her own body parts in various materials, such as, Jesmonite and other resins, Ciment-Fondu, and Silicon Rubber.
Firstly, she has training as a dancer, which has given her certain poise, athletic ability and awareness of body – which helps when one’s body is being cast. But more significant to her work, I think, is the circumstances of her childhood and teenage years.
Born in Africa, she has lived in all the countries listed, sometimes for less than a year, as a part of a family involved in charitable and humanitarian organisations:
Zimbabwe, South Africa, Mozambique, Malawi, Zambia, Canada, USA, Mexico, Guatemala, Russia, France, Netherlands, Germany, Austria, Czech Republic, Hungary, Ukraine, Turkey, Wales, England, Scotland, Ireland, and Spain.
This leads me to think about the constancy and consistency of place in our lives. And that for Holly, one of the only consistent factors in her life, would be her actual bodily self. In those early years of the development of awareness’s about the world and our place in it, one would observe the constant shifting of place, peoples and context in one’s life. And thus begin to rely, only on, more deeply held feelings and personal intuitions that could be carried with you from place to place.
Travel broadens the mind, they say, but surely it could also strengthen ones inner sense of self-reliance. This, coupled with an intense creativity and desire for self-expression, could quite easily lead an artist to concentrate on their own being, their own personal way of observing, and dealing with a constantly shifting landscape. In any case, much of our early experiences are absorbed on a very subconscious level, and appear later as artistic expressions or methods of working.
Fascinated with the world of dance from an early age, she associates incredible beauty with the forms of the human body and all it is capable of. She pays great respect to the closeness and relationship that is created from the attitude, respect and confidence that dancers hold for each other’s bodies, which, taken out of the dance world and placed into a different context in society -would be considered somewhat amiss. She is responsive to the female in dance, and the ability to carry sexuality with dignity and strength, but has an awareness that men seem to seek for it as a source of sexual entertainment. Her visual language highlights her desire to honour this certain femininity throughout her practice, in the dialogue she creates between her materials and the processes contained within her work. Her sculptures and installations convey qualities of vulnerability and fragility – that carries tensions of tenacious feminine authority and roles of a submissive and helpless disposition. They are held by elements of gravity and balance, seeming to be in a state, just moments before collapse.
These works explore themes of intimacy and connectivity, the structure and senses of the body, anatomy and the inside of our bodies. Its intimacies, strengths and vulnerabilities, the hardness and softness, and the way the body moves.
Influenced by so many of the cultures she has lived in and experienced, she often finds inspiration from Celtic, Native American and other tribal imagery, as she explores the various materials used and combined in the work on show here.
The work is usually made by building up layers, over time, of materials like wax or latex. Often used, is the process of casting her own body parts and instinctively collecting materials that she feels embodies representations of the human body. She challenges herself to play, to put the materials together to see what happens and to let the work meet her halfway. She believes in working within the strengths of the materials, therefore letting the work become what it wants to, rather than completely controlling the outcome of every piece – showing flexibility within the process of the work.
Overall, her work displays a kind of spirituality and awareness, not a spirituality based on laws but one that is engaging… one that offers a stillness and rest. A spirituality that is vital: the breath to keep living. This work reminds me of the beauty of being able to rest, knowing that things may not be perfect but that there is harmony: the ease of breathing, when wholeness is offered.

Gerald Prior, Artist & Friend


  • Date Novemeber 12th-26th 2015

  • Type Sculpture & Installation

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